Know Your Constitution: The Bill of Rights – Freedom of Expression and Media

CHAPTER FOUR––THE BILL OF RIGHTS- Freedom of expression and media

Freedom of expression

(1) Every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:

(a) freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas;

(b) freedom of artistic creativity; and

(c) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

(2) The right to freedom of expression does not extend to—

(a) propaganda for war;

(b) incitement to violence;

(c) hate speech; or

(d) advocacy of hatred that—

(i) constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others or incitement to cause harm; or

(ii) is based on any ground of discrimination specified or contemplated in Article 27 (4).

(3) In the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, every person shall respect the rights and reputation of others.

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Freedom of the media

(1) Freedom and independence of electronic, print and all other types of media is guaranteed, but does not extend to any expression specified in Article 33 (2).

(2) The State shall not—
(a) exercise control over or interfere with any person engaged in broadcasting, the production or circulation of any publication or the dissemination of information by any medium; or

(b) penalise any person for any opinion or view or the content of any broadcast, publication or dissemination.

(3) Broadcasting and other electronic media have freedom of establishment, subject only to licensing procedures that—

(a) are necessary to regulate the airwaves and other forms of signal distribution; and

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(b) are independent of control by government, political interests or commercial interests.

(4) All State-owned media shall—

(a) be free to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcasts or other communications;

(b) be impartial; and

(c) afford fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions.

(5) Parliament shall enact legislation that provides for the establishment of a body, which shall—

(a) be independent of control by government, political interests or commercial interests;

(b) reflect the interests of all sections of the society; and
(c) set media standards and regulate and monitor compliance with those standards.

Source: National Council For Law Reporting.

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